Independent candidate Margo Maley always held a motivation to run for politics, to get involved and make decisions but it was only this year with COVID, and the snap provincial election, that she was pushed to take the step.
Maley, a mother of three, moved to the area in 1986 and has lived in Fort St. James since then. After coming to the area as a youth worker in 1984 and returning as a tree planter in 1985, Maley fell in love with the area.
She has worked as a commercial transport inspector for the Ministry of Transportation and as a compliance officer for the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resources. Now retired, she drives bus for School District 91 as a casual driver where she has been a casual driver for 34 years. She is also a casual driver for Northern Spirit Transportation.
Maley believes in leading a self-sustained lifestyle.
“I want to be able to grow my own food so I am into gardening, preserving and on the odd occasion I go out and hunt. So basically I do hunting, fishing, gardening, and I also have a jewellery line that I have been selling,” she said.
Maley’s extensive experience in the public sector, her interactions with people over the years and her overall background makes her believe she would be able to make the changes needed right now.
“I believe that it has given me a solid platform in being able to stand in the gap for the people because I am just not happy with how the political parties in the past have conducted their governance,” she said.
She adds that her sister, who is also her best friend, is completely in support of her decision to stand and while she hasn’t had a chance to get a feedback from her sons, she believes they understand that their mother has a voice and will fight for the rights and freedoms of everyone, especially their generation and the next several generations.
“I was wondering how I could get involved; I believe our rights and freedoms are being chipped away even before COVID. But after COVID I just noticed that it is time for change and the status quo isn’t working for us. We have at this time in history the power to turn back the tide, to get back to the normal days. And normal days are when everybody was working and living the Canadian dream,” she said.
Maley, who loves socializing, believes that shutting down the country due to COVID was not necessary and the new normal that the government keeps talking about is just not what she wants to have for her kids and grandkids. She also said that the shutdown led to an increase in isolation, mental health issues and several other issues rising from that.
“They talk about the new normal and I am just not happy with the new normal. I don’t think we had to shut down the country and I believe when Sweden addressed the issue, they basically stayed open, protected their vulnerable, protected their immunocompromised folks and their deaths weren’t any greater than our deaths and we shut down the country, we shut down the economy; why can’t we follow that. In my platform I believe we have learned our lesson about managing germs, managing viruses, wash your hands. I think we have learned a lot about health protection and I believe now we also need health freedoms,” she said.
For Maley, having three young sons has made her more aware of the several issues that their generation is dealing with
“I want to be a voice for you, your children, my children and grandchildren. Suicides are up, there are massive debts that this government and the previous governments have passed down to my kids’ generation and the government still keeps spending; now people’s futures are uncertain. In running as an independent I do hope that I can speak to bringing back stability to the province and stability to the decisions that are made,” she said.
“Maybe as a province, if we can change and turn the tide for Canada in B.C., then other provinces will follow,” she concluded.